12 years ago I was dying by ounces.
On this second Sunday of February, 2003 I sat observing worship at West Side Nazarene Church. I sat about eight or ten rows back in the center section at the end of the pew in case I needed to get out. Nausea… cramps… bathroom…
I didn’t look disabled. Everyone there was shocked whenever they’d get snippets of my story. Then they’d get somber. Then their faces would unsuccessfully try to hide their pity. We all figured I was dying because the means of nutrition and rehydration and immunity from virus and disease – further disease for me had been surgically removed. I was chronically anemic, unsteady on my feet and instead of singing I managed a raspy croak from the six or so NG tubes I’d had stuffed down my throat. Have I told you about those nifty little engines of human torture? Well–it’ll have to wait for another time.
They’d never known me as the robust, muscular 250-pounder I’d been. So far as they knew, I’d always been the slim 170-pound guy with the raspy, hoarse voice. Little did they know . . . 42-inch waist to a 32-inch waist? 6 feet tall to 5 feet, 10 inches? Oh, yeah. Do I have a diet plan for you! It’ll definitely make you lose a lot of weight in a hurry. You won’t survive it, but it WORKS. Even with what I called Steak-In-A-Bag via IV every day, I was steadily losing weight, a few ounces at a time. Scales don’t fib.
So I sat there, PICC line coiled under the right sleeve of my long-sleeved shirt because I could no longer have the Hickman catheters poked into my upper chest and down into my subclavian artery: too much infection and the left side had permanently clotted off. The PICC was a temporary measure. As I said, everyone figured I was dying. I’d pretty much accepted it myself.
I was so glad to just be able to sit, listen and enjoy the service. An old saint had just done something I hadn’t seen much since a kid: she stood and spoke for 4-5 minutes about how faithful God had been to her and how blessed she was. Next was a song. I’d always enjoyed music; it was part of my life and singing had always been my therapy. I couldn’t do it, but I could sure appreciate those who could.
It was during that song that it happened.
“Do you want to be healed?”
Seated at the left end of the pew, I heard a voice speak softly in my left ear: “Do you want to be healed?” I was so surprised I simply answered, “Yes.” That’s when I did the human thing.
I turned as quickly as my weird balance would allow and looked, even though I was seated right next to a wide aisle and knew there was no one there. Well, no one I could see.
From that day, I began gaining weight – something every specialist with whom we’d consulted said was impossible. It was only a few ounces at a time, but it was in the opposite direction: up instead of down.
I could go on, but I’m in the process of writing a book with Brenda about this fabulous, unexpected story.
All I want to tell you now is that when the Bible says with God NOTHING is impossible?
You better believe it.
I am walking, talking, singing proof.
Thank You, Lord, that it wasn’t just that guy at the pool way back there who heard Your question. I heard it, too–and I’ve never been the same.
© D. Dean Boone, February 8, 2015